Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has pledged to legalize casinos in Ukraine’s five-star hotels.
"We will legalize gambling, particularly casinos’ operation in five-star hotels. This [step] will stimulate the development of a tourism cluster and region on the Black Sea coast," Zelensky told the Ukraine-Turkey business forum in Istanbul on Thursday.
The Ukrainian leader also added that he wants to regard the Turkish business as partners rather than competitors. "Let us jointly promote the tourism brand of the Black Sea across the world," he addressed Turkish investors, TASS reports.
Gambling has been outlawed in Ukraine since 2009. Nevertheless, it is still present in the country, but is not taxed and doesn’t bring revenues to the national budget. According to the Ukrainian Finance Ministry, gambling could additionally bring in up to 5 billion hryvnia (more than $196.5 million) to the budget.
The Ukrainian government made a promise to the IMF to legalize this business before the end of 2018, however, the promise has not translated into reality yet.